Former NFL, CFL quarterback Johnny Manziel signs with Fan Controlled Football startup league

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Fan Controlled Football league has convinced Johnny Manziel to take the field again.

The FCF has officially signed Manziel for a season that is scheduled to begin in February 2021. The startup league gives fans the ability to set rosters and call plays in a video game-like setting for seven-on-seven football.

“The more I heard about what this was going to be, the more I felt it was going to be something that was just very fun. It’s going to be very fan-oriented and something I could get behind without being extremely, extremely, extremely serious, the way that my football career has been in the past,” Manziel told ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.

Manziel starred at Texas A&M University, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2012, and Cleveland selected him in the first round, No. 22 overall during the 2014 NFL draft. However, he was released by the Browns in March 2016 after posting a 2-6 record over two tumultuous campaigns.

“Life gives you opportunities sometimes to do something that you would still like to do if it was in a different capacity. This has a lot of potential to just be a good time and still be football-centric,” Manziel said.

Coming to Canada was Manziel’s Comeback SZN to pro football. In July 2018, Montreal made a blockbuster trade for Manziel to become the Alouettes’ starting quarterback. He completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,290 yards, five touchdowns versus seven interceptions and rushed 29 times for 215 yards ending the season 2-6 as Montreal’s starter.

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The NCAA star believed he could dominate the CFL and return to the NFL even though Manziel had fizzled out as a first-round pick in Cleveland. Manziel didn’t truly respect what it was going to take to play at a high level in Canada and, because of it, he was punted out of the league.

“They’re going to let the people [who] join this league be who they are and have fun with it and be a little bit more free than what football is sometimes,” Manziel said.

“That’s definitely what appealed to me. They don’t want me to change who I am or anything else. They want to come out, put a good product out and be fun with it.”

The Zappers placed the sole franchise tag on Manziel.